Low-level laser therapy associated to a resistance training protocol on bone tissue in diabetic rats

Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Oct;60(5):457-464. doi: 10.1590/2359-3997000000190. Epub 2016 Aug 25.


Objective: The present study aimed to evaluate the in vivo response of a resistance training and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on tibias and femurs of rats with diabetes mellitus (DM).

Materials and methods: Forty male Wistar rats were randomly distributed into four experimental groups: control group (CG), diabetic group (DG), diabetic trained group (TG) and diabetic trained and laser irradiated group (TLG). DM was induced by streptozotocin (STZ) and after two weeks laser and resistance training started, performed for 24 sessions, during eight weeks. At the end of the experiment, animals were euthanized and tibias and femurs were removed for analysis. Histological, histomorphometrical, immunohistochemistry and mechanical analyses were performed.

Results: Trained groups, with or without laser irradiation, showed increased cortical area, bone density and biomechanical properties. The immunohistochemical analysis revealed that TG and TLG demonstrated an increased RUNX2 expression. RANK-L immunoexpression was similar for all experimental groups.

Conclusion: In conclusion, it can be suggested that the resistance exercise program stimulated bone metabolism, culminating in increased cortical tibial area, bone mineral content, bone mineral density and biomechanical properties. Furthermore, the association of physical exercises and LLLT produced higher values for bone mineral content and stiffness. Consequently, these data highlight the potential of physical exercise in the management of bone loss due to DM and the possible extra osteogenic stimulus offered by lasertherapy. Further long-term studies should be carried out to provide additional information.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone Density / radiation effects
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / physiopathology
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / prevention & control
  • Densitometry / methods
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / prevention & control
  • Femur / physiology*
  • Femur / radiation effects*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • RANK Ligand / analysis
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Streptozocin
  • Tibia / physiology*
  • Tibia / radiation effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • RANK Ligand
  • Streptozocin